This needs to be a quick one as I’m closeted in some work-related yap for pretty much the whole day.
You’ll, no doubt, have seen by now Tyrone’s typewritten protestations about being more sinned against than sinning in the area of fouls which they handed out at their press night up in Garvaghy last night. (If you haven’t, full details are here, though I like this alternative version better, which comes courtesy of @Maigheoforsam.)
There’s plenty in today’s papers about it, with the one-pager placed in the context of Tyrone’s appeal which they’ve lodged against both the Penrose and Gormley suspensions. Here are the reports in today’s Irish Times, Irish Independent and Irish Examiner on it.
Obviously this amateur-hour PR exercise isn’t aimed specifically at getting Penrose and Gormley off the hook for Sunday week but is instead intended to counter the truckload of opprobrium that’s been dumped on the Red Hand over the last few weeks, starting with Brolly’s hissy fit the night of the Monaghan game. Whatever it’s supposed to be, though, you’d have to think that it’s a pretty pathetic attempt at spindoctoring.
If it’s sympathy they’re looking for, then I reckon they’re barking up the wrong tree. This kind of nonsense will attract nothing but ridicule (shades of that fool Rory Gallagher all over again) because anyone who has looked at the way Tyrone have played since their 2003 emergence – and it’s all Tyrone teams, not just the senior variant – knows full well that they’ve all been using the same ugly playbook.
There always has, I know, been plenty of thuggishness in Gaelic football – and it didn’t start with this either – but it was Tyrone (and to some extent the Armagh team that came before them) who brought this kind of stuff to a different and entirely systematic level. So much of what we know and hate about the current game – blocking runners, Aussie Rules tackling, sledging, feigning injury, time-wasting when ahead etc. etc. – is core to the way Tyrone play it and putting out bullshit “facts” portraying them as a bunch of choirboys is simply an attempt to claim that black is white. And it’s not, you know. Fact.
On the subject of stats, by the way, this analysis by the excellent Don’t Foul website provides a whole load of interesting numbers from our match against Donegal. We all know that, in words, we hammered the bejaysus out of them but the Don’t Foul lads go behind these words to break down the key numbers relating to the Bank Holiday weekend massacre. It’d be nice to think that Mickey Harte and his lads will be left with similar numbers to digest when we’re finished with them on Sunday week.
Right, work and yap and all that.